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How To Sort Brass For Reloading

Dry Media SeparatorThe first question that comes to mind when it comes to sorting brass for reloading is this: do you really need to do it?

Let’s explore all the possibilities here, including the reasons why or why it would not make sense to sort your brass.

This article is useful to help you maximize your time, money and resources in investing in your brass casings, as well learn how to stretch your money in those brass casings you buy for reloading.

Ways and Tips to Sort Brass For Reloading

Step #1: Sort Them From Aluminum Cases

Production of Aluminum Cases cartridges for a rifleYou should remember that you cannot reload aluminum or steel cases, so you have to sort them out from your bag of casings. Only nickel-plated ones will be reloadable.

When you’re looking or sorting brass from firing ranges or any other source, make sure you distinguish the metal ones from the plated steel cases using a standard magnet.

If the magnet sticks, then it’s steel, not brass. You can also distinguish aluminum from their light, dull grey matte finish, and the nickel plated cases are sorted because of their shinier, mirror-like finish.

Also, you should know that all brass cartridges or casings will be reloadable. But if you want a faster way of reloading, choose the ones that are made of Boxer style primers because they’re easier to handle.

Step #2: Stay Away from Brass That’s Just a Coating

There are many casings that lookl like brass, but are just really coatings. In here you can just use the same magnet to sort the brass-plated steel from actual brass.

Step #3: Avoid AMERC Brass

In sorting out your brass for reloading, try to avoid the brass stamped with AMERC, which are made by the people behind American Ammunition Inc. These are the worst kinds of quality brass you can get.

Step #4: Buy A Shell Sorter

Shell SorterThere’s already a trademarked shell shorter available for you that can automate the time you need to sort your brass by any caliber. You now have more time to enjoy shooting and less time spent on reloading.

With a load of about 5 gallons per bucket, and just a few shakes, you can already sort your brass casings by caliber. This is made possible with the help of three pans that will sort several types of calibers in just one process.

Some of the most common type of calibers today are: 45 ACP, 40 S& and 9mm. You can sort them all out with brass sorters at tremendous ease, just by simply tumbling over and pouring the brass casings into the appropriate sorters.

A good brass sorter is able to sort out about .8 cubic foot worth of cases or about five gallons of brass casings, which can be finished in about 18 minutes.

Step#5: Take Note of Small Pistol Primer Issues

The .45 ACP ammo today are using primers that are fit for large pistols, and so their casings may not be a good git for pistols of smaller size. Make sure you know how to distinguish one from the other type.

The small primers can be still reloadable, but you have to separate them from the .45 ACP ammo.

For more information about sorting brass for reloading, this is the video you should refer to:


So there you have it: you now have a complete rundown of everything you might need to know to sort brass for reloading.

As a summary, you learned in this article the methods, ways and even tips to maximize your time and effort in sorting out accurately the different calibers of shell casings.

We also conclude here that the best, most efficient way to sort out your brass casings is with the help of case sorters. There’s plenty available today, and we enumerated in this article the features you should be looking for in a sorter that you use.

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